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Climate Strike: Protests expected across UK Climate Strike: Protests held across UK
(about 1 hour later)
Protests are expected across the UK, with pupils leaving schools and workers downing tools in a bid to urge more government action on climate change. Protests are taking place across the UK, with pupils leaving schools and workers downing tools as part of a global "climate strike" day.
It's part of a global "climate strike" day, which started in Australia earlier, where organisers said around 300,000 people took part. Rallies are taking place in cities including Glasgow, Manchester and London, urging "climate justice" and "an end to the age of fossil fuels".
They are urging "climate justice" and "an end to the age of fossil fuels". Students and workers have also been encouraged to let off alarm clocks across the country at 1300 BST.
Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said their voices were being heard but did not "endorse children leaving school". Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said their voices were "being heard".
It follows earlier school strikes inspired by activist Greta Thunberg. However, he said he could not "endorse children leaving school" to take part.
The teenager, from Sweden, has described the turnout in Australia earlier as "incredible". Demonstrations have also been organised in Newcastle upon Tyne, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
She is set to join a later rally planned in New York, where world leaders will meet at the UN next week to discuss climate change. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will address the group's rally outside Westminster at about 13:15 BST.
Extinction Rebellion, which organised its own climate and environment protests in the UK earlier this year, said it stood "in solidarity" with those taking part.Extinction Rebellion, which organised its own climate and environment protests in the UK earlier this year, said it stood "in solidarity" with those taking part.
It added that its members were joining the strikes and holding their own events, including a choir and "kids' space" in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, and outside King's College London.It added that its members were joining the strikes and holding their own events, including a choir and "kids' space" in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, and outside King's College London.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will address the UK Student Climate Network's Global Climate Strike in Westminster at about 13:15pm. Some trade unions, including TUC Congress, the University and College Union and Unite, are supporting members who take part in the "strikes".
Mr Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast protesters' voices were "being heard" but insisted the time spent in school was "incredibly important". Co-operative Bank says it is supporting workers who want to join the action, while US clothing brand Patagonia is closing all of its stores and taking out adverts to back the protesters.
He added: "What I do support is their energy, their creativity, and the fact that they have completely mastered these issues and take them very seriously." The action follows earlier school strikes inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.
The teenager, from Sweden, is set to join a rally planned in New York, where world leaders will meet at the UN next week to discuss climate change.
Mr Kwarteng said the protesters' voices were being heard but he could not "endorse children leaving school".
He told BBC Breakfast: "What I do support is their energy, their creativity, and the fact that they have completely mastered these issues and take them very seriously."